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Review: Employer’s Legal Handbook

Review: Employer’s Legal Handbook

Human resources people, managers, and small business owners, all have something in common… they need to know, legally, what they should and should not do in order to keep them in good stead with their employees.  Keeping up to date with the legalities of having employees can be mind-boggling, especially if you are more focused on running your business (or department) then researching employment law.


That being said, the legal implications of employees is still something that you need to be aware of, for your own (and your business’) sake.  And since most of us do not have a highly-trained legal team at our disposal to advise us, we need to get the information ourselves.


If you are an employer in the U.S., who would like to gain some understanding of your legal rights and obligations as an employer, then you might want to check out The Employer’s Legal Handbook: Manage Your Employees & Workplace Effectively by Fred Steingold.


Core Competencies

There are a wide range of topics covered, and Steingold gets into the nitty gritty of everyday employee relations.

  • Hiring
  • Personnel practices
  • Wages and hours
  • Employee benefits
  • Taxes

The types of things every business needs to know and understand.  For example, knowing what to keep in your employee files, how to pay your employees, types of benefits you can offer, and deductions to make for taxes is all basic employee information that every business needs to know.


Beyond the Basics

  • There is also a discussion on family and medical leave; who is entitled to it, what you need to do to accommodate it, and how to transition someone back into your workplace after it is over.
  • Also, there is information to increase your awareness of health and safety issues and state-specific OSHA requirements that business need to follow.
  • There is even a chapter on illegal discrimination, which is something that should be of concern to every manager.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act is discussed in detail.  Terms like “reasonable accommodation” are explained,  as well as which businesses are covered by the Act.
  • The book also gets into the tricky area of termination.  If you have exhausted your alternatives, there are guidelines on how to fire someone the right way, to protect yourself and your business.  How to handle things like the final paycheck, continuation of benefits, and handling post-employment enquiries.
  • Employee privacy is an issue that has become more prominent in the last few years.  Specifically, monitoring your employees at work and employee dating are topical issues that are dealt with from a legal standpoint.
  • More technical issues arise when hiring independent contractors.  This book helps you sort out the rules and laws of classifying your workers and avoiding costly mistakes.
  • Unions and the National Labor Relations Act are touched upon, including the rights of every employee and employer with regards to this process.
  • And finally, how to get further help from a lawyer when you need it.


As an employer, if you make the commitment to better understand your rights and responsibilities under the law, you will see your efforts paid back to you many times over.  Managing your employees in a fair and legally responsible way will reap dividends in a more happy, healthy, and smoothly running workplace, and help you avoid the consequences of not staying informed.  Check out The Employer’s Legal Handbook to give your employment legal knowledge a jump start.


More Resources on Employment Law:

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